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Old 06-11-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
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Basement air problem

Hi everyone. We have a 2005 34 foot Itasca deisel pusher with the Coleman 6535 basement heat pump.

Until 2 weeks ago, the air conditioning worked perfectly but has now developed a problem. If I turn off the breaker for the number 2 compressor the unit will cool all day long. If I turn on the breaker for the #2 compressor it will cool for about 5 minutes then both compressors shut down even though the thermostat is not satisfied. An additional piece of info is that we are dry camping and running the a/c off the generator as needed.

As we all know, you need both compressors running to do any real cooling in the summer.

I have gotten into the heat pump wiring compartment and reseated all the connections and found no obvious damage or burnt wires. So I've run out of ideas. Any suggestions on what else I can do to troubleshoot or solve the problem?

We are in Frisco Colorado right now and are thinking seriously about heading to Denver to try and find a reputable RV air conditioning repair shop. When I check the Airxcel website it suggests Western Dynamic in Golden, CO and DM RV Repair in Loveland, CO. Any one have any comments on either of these repair shops, or other suggestions? Our schedule and direction is flexible so other recommendations in other cities are welcome also (as long as they are west or north from here). Well, OK, so our direction isn't entirely flexible. We're heading to Washington state and there's a lot of hot air between here and there.

In the meantime we're staying high in the mountains where we don't need air conditioning.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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I have been told by other RVers that a good HVAC shop can repair the basement systems, most times for less than an RV dealer. Many RV Dealers sublet the work on ACs and pocket a surcharge.
Good luck with your needs, keep us posted on the outcome.
And Welcome to WA. when you get hear. Come up to NE corner and visit Grand Coulee Dam and beautiful Lake Roosevelt. There are many NP Campgrounds around the ~150 mile long lake with over 600 miles of shore line.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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Hello, you said that the unit worked OK two weeks ago. Were you plugged into shore power at that time? Reason I ask is I wonder if the energy management system is shutting the compressors down?

Another route to go is call Airxcel. They have a technical support, maybe they can walk you through it.

And, yes a residential / commercial HVAC company will be able to make any repair on that unit. All technical information can be found on Airxcel's website.

Best of luck and let us know what you find out.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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See if this is any help. I also have a nice write up by on removing the unit if you are interested.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf coleman6535.pdf (1.00 MB, 325 views)
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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Well we were in Texas plugged into shore power where the a/c ran for 10 days straight without shutting off. There were one or two instances after that before we got into cooler weather where we ran the a/c on generator power without problems.

Also with the 2compressors running and the battery charger running we don't exceed 29 amps so I don't see how the EMS would be shutting down the compressors due to overload conditions, but what do I know?

I'll check later today.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
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What happens when you are on generator power does it still trip #2 compressor ?

When is the last time the evaporator and condenser coils were cleaned?

Did you amp #2 and #1 compressors while running?

While #2 compressor is running is it blowing cool air?

Check voltage at compressors .make sure fans are cycling .

Maybe a sprung breaker or weak. Make sure that your A/C is calling for the secondary compressor to come in, set t-stat at least 5 degrees from room temp to cycle secondary compressor.

You could have high head pressure due to dirty coils, freezing coils, low on refrigerant , fans not working.



Good luck, hope this helps

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Old 06-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fputnam View Post
An additional piece of info is that we are dry camping and running the a/c off the generator as needed.
I don't know squat about your coach, the particular EMS or the genny. Based solely on what you said above, have you checked the genny to make one of the breakers aren't tripped?

I'll crawl back in my hole now
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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My answers are below in parentheses.

When is the last time the evaporator and condenser coils were cleaned? (as far as I know, never. However I can see through the fins. There appears to be no blockage)

Did you amp #2 and #1 compressors while running? (I didn't bring an ampmeter with me. However, on the EMS panel, the amperages don't seem to be out of line with what I'm used to seeing)

While #2 compressor is running is it blowing cool air? (Yes)

Check voltage at compressors .make sure fans are cycling . (Good idea. The condenser fan is running when the compressors are running. Conversely, the condenser fan is off when the compressors are off)

Maybe a sprung breaker or weak. Make sure that your A/C is calling for the secondary compressor to come in, set t-stat at least 5 degrees from room temp to cycle secondary compressor. (Both compressors are running, like I said for about 5 minutes, before they both shut down. The thermostat has not reached it's set point at that time. No breakers have switched off, unless I did it.)

You could have high head pressure due to dirty coils, freezing coils, low on refrigerant , fans not working. ( I'll check again for dirty coils)

( Thanks for the great suggestions)

Good luck, hope this helps

James[/QUOTE]
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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fputman,
What size is your generator and what is the amp output? If your hot water tank or refrigerator is on electric you will quickly go over the 29 amps. Are you running the microwave or an electric heater? Hair dryer? Vacuum? Satellite? Just wondering?
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
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When you can amp the compressors when
running to see what they are pulling.

I could be the high pressure switch shutting both compressors down, you can bypass it by jumping out around switch to eliminate that , but do not leave jumped out it could short compressor motor.

It might be short cycling due to low freon charge?

Hope this helps,

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Old 06-11-2013, 07:48 PM   #11
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Being that there are two separate circuits there would be two pressure switches, probably internal to the compressor, if one was to open there would be enough heat displacement off the condenser to keep the other compressor running.

Low charge, most of the time (on a small system) when there is a leak the charge is gone.

Personally I would call technical support and have a meter handy.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:41 PM   #12
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You might consider checking the water drain on the evaporators. I know my home unit quits when the drain is clogged and the water backs up. I can only assume that your MH heat pump has a similar safety switch . Just a guess on my part. Please keep us updated on what you find out. I have good friend that has an 04 with the same basement ac. I know he will be interested in what the problem is. Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:39 PM   #13
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We have a 7.5 kW generator so it can handle a 50 amp load just fine. With both compressors running they draw about 20 amps which seems to be normal for this unit.

The only other thing operating at the same time is the battery charger.

Today I again watched the EMS panel to see if the amperage spiked just before both compressors shut down. It didn't.

So now I'm back to wondering if it's a high pressure switch or maybe a dirty coil. The coils seem fine, maybe I just don't see the dirt.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:10 AM   #14
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With two compressors running you should be up around 27-29 amps depending on ambient air temperatures.
Sounds like one of the compressors is running flat (no charge).

I recently had a crack in my condenser on circuit #1, while I had the unit out I also noticed that the indoor blower had worked it's way loose and was not distributing all the air into the ductwork.

Your best bet is to call technical service and or a HVAC shop. See if you can download the technical information for the service technician.
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